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12/10/10 8:20 PM EST
Rockies sign pair to Minor League deals
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
DENVER -- The Rockies have agreed to terms on Minor League deals with one-time Yankees infield prospect Eric Duncan and Geno Espineli, a left-hander formerly in the Giants' system.
Both project to play at Triple-A Colorado Springs but could work their way into the big league mix.
Duncan, 26, who plays third base, second base, first base and the outfield, batted .267 with eight home runs and 64 RBIs at Double-A Mississippi in the Braves' organization. A top pick of the Yankees in 2003, Duncan topped out at Triple-A.
"He's a very interesting player who plays a lot of positions," player development director Marc Gustafson said. "It could be good for him to have a change of scenery. We'll get him in camp and see what happens."
Espineli, 28, is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in the Mexican Winter League, after going 5-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 53 games for Triple-A Fresno in the Giants' system. Espineli, who made two appearances for San Francisco in 2008, can compete for a roster spot or be an alternative later in the year.
Incumbents from the left side are Matt Reynolds, a late-season callup who became the team's late-innings lefty last season, and Franklin Morales, who has a strong arm but struggles with consistency. The team also could bring in another experienced lefty via free agency.
Behind them is prospect Rex Brothers, a 2009 supplemental first-round pick who is making quick progress.
"He is a situational lefty who can really help us," Gustafson said. "Rex Brothers is doing real well but he's still a young guy. Espineli gives us a little bit more experience."